Playing golf in the rain creates a number of challenges. A golf course changes significantly in the rain. You need to adjust your game accordingly. When you plan to play in the rain, be prepared to play in it. Pack all the equipment you’ll need to handle the wetness:

  • An umbrella: Pack one of those big golf umbrellas. And never open it downwind, or you’ll end up like Mary Poppins, and the umbrella will end up looking like modern art.

  • Good rain gear: Jackets, pants, and headwear designed to be worn in the rain. You can spend as much as you want on these items. If you play in wet weather all the time, get yourself some good stuff that will last a long time. Good rain gear costs between $100 and $700. Gore-Tex, a fabric that repels water, is a very popular fabric for rain gear.

  • Dry gloves: If you wear gloves, keep a few in plastic bags in your golf bag. They’ll stay dry, even if you leave a pocket open and the rain comes pouring in.

  • Dry towels: Keep several dry towels in your bag because the one you have outside will get wet sooner or later.

  • Dry grips: One of the most important things to have in wet-weather golf. You don't want your club toslip out of your hands on the driving range and fly through the snack-shop window.

  • Waterproof shoes: Keep an extra pair of socks in your bag, too, in case the advertiser lied about those “waterproof” shoes.

When playing in wet course conditions, keep the following in mind:

  • On a rainy day, the greens will be slow. Hit your putts harder than you do when the sun is shining and remember that the ball won’t curve as much.

  • If you hit a ball in the bunker, the sand will be firmer, so you won’t have to swing as hard to get the ball out.

  • The golf course will play longer because it’s so soft. The good news is that the fairways and greens get softer and more receptive. The fairways and greens become, in effect, wider and bigger, respectively, because your shots don’t bounce into trouble as much.

  • Try not to let the conditions affect your normal routines. The best rain players always take their time and stay patient.

  • Playing in the rain is one thing — playing in lightning is another thing altogether. When lightning strikes, your metallic golf club (along with the fact that you tend to be the highest point on the golf course, unless there’s a tree around) can make you a target. Don’t take chances. Drop your club and take cover.

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